If you have a child living at home with you, take some time today to look at your son or daughter and imagine them living in a hellish state where military force rules, a state where true democracy is a joke. Then take a moment to appreciate the good fortune of your child being born in this country.
This is not mere nationalism on my part. Some things are objectively right and some objectively wrong. A state that kills its own people to maintain its power is wrong. Case closed. Period. End of sentence.
If you need a graphic reminder of how fortunate you are to live in this country, then watch the video below. It is not for the squeamish. It depicts, as best as can be verified, a young woman dying in the streets of Iran after being shot by parties acting on behalf of the government.
There is heated debate in this country about what our government should do and say regarding the Iran uprising. Most reasonable people look at our history with Iran and concede that the less said by us right now, the better. Iran’s knee-jerk reaction to internal strife is to blame it on external “interference”. If we allow our country to become part of the argument in Iran, we take away the legitimacy of the protesters. They become the “tools” of imperial America. That is not what they need and that is not what we need.
Still the President issued a statement over the weekend that should unambiguously clarify our country’s position on this conflict:
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.
As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.
Martin Luther King once said – “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness. — Market Watch
What more needs to be said? What stronger message are Senator Lindsay Graham and other Republicans looking for? The fact is that President Obama has stated the view of our country clearly and concisely without swagger.
The sad truth is that since this turmoil is not happening in our country, all we can really do is appeal to what little decency may exist within the Iranian government and hope that cooler heads prevail. We can also tuck our children in at night with gratitude toward our dumb luck that we (or at least they) were born in the United States of America where the imperfect experiment of democracy is exercised better than in any other country in the world.